Fifteen-year-old Lakshmi had certain ideas about what an architecture course entailed. In her mind’s eye, she saw blueprints filled with precise, neat diagrams and plenty of physics and mathematics theory lessons. What she saw inside the Department of Architecture building at the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram did nothing short of leave her spellbound.

On the one hand, there were models and artwork that gave the course an allure of a creative degree to specialise in for a young school student like her. On the other hand, “It does seem like a lot of work,” she said, tilting her head to examine an abstract spindly model of futuristic observatory that first-year architecture students made.

This is only a fraction of the host of models on display here – with one of the most popular being the elaborate project being carried out by the students of the newly initiated Urban Design postgraduate course.

Lakshmi and her classmates from Government High School, Kulathur, were awed by the sheer range and paid rapt attention to architecture students as they explained the basics of the projects they had undertaken.

The open house, the first of its kind event organised by the institution, was an eye-opening experience to school students who flooded the CET’s campus near Sreekariyam here even before it was officially inaugurated on Thursday. Friday saw students from around 15 city schools teeming to visit the range of facilities the CET has to offer – such as the robotics lab, hydraulics lab, wind tunnel, machine workshop and electrical research laboratory.